CHOICES! Keanu Reeves via Neo asserted that choice can be a form of oppression when the choices lead us to an undesirable outcome. Indeed, Geddy Lee boldly posited that “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”. And who can forget the words of the bazillion-year-old knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when he cautioned that “you must choose, but choose wisely…” That malevolent Walter Donovan chose poorly and, despite having just taken a drink, very quickly became the most dehydrated human in the history of forever. I, myself, have discussed the perils of being stuck between two choices in my critically acclaimed series “Dialectical Menialism” (found HERE and HERE). Since discovering this critical, yet sorely misunderstood facet of existence, I’ve been hypersensitive to any and all choices I’m faced with from the very specific (for example, when battling ninja robots, should I use a sword or nunchucks? Or what color sweetener packet should I use at Panera to sweeten my dark roast?), to the very broad (for example, “yes” or “no”? And the proverbial “up” or “down”).

It is concerning this very quagmire that I blog to you today, dear reader. You see, I’m part machine (more info HERE). Put briefly, I’ve a medicine pump in my abdomen delivering a constant supply of liquid baclofen to my spine, thus bypassing the stomach, the blood brain barrier, and so on. The “up and down” comes from the dosage – too high= lethargic zombie mode, too low= hypertonic spazz mode. I’ve crunched some numbers that I just made up and labored to produce some graphs to represent this conundrum.

Staggering data that affirms the supposition that more baclofen leads to a more sleepy, yet less spastic Jarrett. Conversely, less baclofen is associated with an increase in both wakefulness and muscle tension – diabolical!
Respondent were asked “would you say that higher doses of liquid baclofen result in elevated wakefulness?” If the respondent wasn’t already asleep, the answer was a very groggy “no” for ALL RESPONDENT! The chance of all or nothing is statistically remote
No surprise here. Respondent answered “yes” when asked “does a higher dose of liquid baclofen result in a decrease in spasmodic muscle behavior?”
This graph shows the (egregious) negative linear relationship between increases in dosage of liquid baclofen and a decrease in wakefulness.
The reciprocal of the “Crushing Fatigue…” graph. This line demonstrates the negatively positive linear relationship between decreased dosages of liquid baclofen and a reduction in the occurrence of NOT experiencing spasticity (what? The line has a positive slope, and one of the answers is a negative…)

These data were collected over the last six years by the Institute of Jarrett Existing and processed and quantified earlier today when I dreamed this up.

A few things to note –

  1. I use “Hypertonicity”, “spasticity” and “muscle tension” interchangeably. There are subtle differences, I know. But for my purposes, they refer to a muscle’s irrational, yet overwhelmingly persistent need to constantly contract (constranctly?)
  2. I forgot what the second one was for the moment…
  3. …Oh yeah, I don’t know that I mentioned the dialectical part of this post in plain terms. You see, with this pump I’m stuck between a state of soothed fatigue and wakeful muscle spasms. Where’s the balance? Hmmmm…I’m starting to think there isn’t one, but I have to choose, but I must choose wisely …if you choose not to decide and that proves to be the wisest choice, have you chosen wisely? Moreover, does choosing not to choose some option confound the design of the machines that control us? I have a machine in me, and I’m tempted to say that it doesn’t control me, but it certainly limits my options. So that’s what Neo was talking about…
  4. There is no spoon.